USA 1940

"With all my heart I still love the man I killed..."

I count William Wyler among my favorite directors (including on that list Anh Hung Tran and Zhang Yimou). Six years after exploding to stardom in Of Human Bondage, Bette Davis equaled that excitement with another W. Somerset Maugham role as an adulteress using her sexual wiles to escape a murder conviction in The Letter. The film throbs with sultry tension thanks to Davis, an impeccable supporting cast, atmospheric cinematography and the artistry of three-time Academy Award winner Wyler, Davis' director on Jezebel and The Little Foxes. Nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, Actress, Director and Supporting Actor (James Stephenson, superb as the anguished defense attorney), The Letter remains one of Hollywood's most special deliveries, a peerless example of melodrama as movie art.

Gary W. Tooze


Theatrical Release: November 22nd, 1940 - USA

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:35:03
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Alternative Ending (9:58)
• Lux Radio Broadcast 1941 (59:30)
• Lux Radio Broadcast 1944 (55:58)
• Restored Theatrical Trailer (2:17)

DVD Release Date: January 11th, 2005

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Chapters: 23



Warner again shows us why the only real DVD Production studio competing with them is Criterion. Perhaps a shade softer that we have become accustomed to, but it still shows some fine film grain and great contrast levels. Subtitles are perfect. The radio broadcasts are a bit of a bore for the uninitiated, but the alternative ending is inspired. Another great DVD from Warner only missing a commentary.  out of     

Gary W. Tooze

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC



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Gary Tooze